"Nowhere is it written that males need to work. It's good enough if the wife works. It's absurd for everyone to work, because who will educate the children? Who will look after them?"
The Marker and Ha'aretz have an interview with United Torah Judaism's Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, a Gerrer hasid who is Israel's Deputy Health Minister.
(In reality, Litzman functions as the health minister because Israel's actual health minister is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In practice, Netanyahu doesn't fill the role, leaving it completely to Litzman. Being a deputy minister rather than a full minister exempts Litzman from having to vote on security issues.)
Here are a couple quotes that illustrate problems with Litzman's thought process:
"Nowhere is it written that males need to work. It's good enough if the wife works. It's absurd for everyone to work, because who will educate the children? Who will look after them? If you go out onto the street and say that both spouses need to work, everyone would disagree. Such a situation is impossible. Someone has to devote themselves to the children so they are not thrown into the street."
In reality, haredi men are studying in yeshivas (or working off the books while pretending to be yeshiva students) and it is the women who, along with working outside the home, have to do most of the child care. Litzman surely knows this. He just hopes that you don't.
And what does Litzman have to say about adult haredi males who study Torah rather than work?
"There is an ironclad rule that says someone who wishes to study must study." It's impossible to change that world view, he explained. "If someone wants to work, he can go into the army or wherever he wants. I don't have a problem with that, but you should know that a lot of haredim do work."
At least 45% of haredi men are officially unemployed, a fact Litzman knows.
Many, probably the vast majority, of state-funded haredi schools don't teach the state's legally mandated core curriculum which includes math, science, English and civics. This is illegal and is a threat to Israel’s economic future. Even so, it has been tolerated by successive governments dependent on haredi political parties to maintain their ruling coalition governments.
What does Litzman have to say about this?
"Really? So take myself as an example. I didn't study core subjects. So what? Is that bad? Did [Knesset Finance Committee Chairman Moshe] Gafni [also of the haredi United Torah Judaism party] study core subjects?"
Yes, Litzman and Gafni are part of a corrupt haredi political machine, and much like members of corrupt political machines worldwide, the qualification that gets these apparatchiks their jobs is loyalty to party heads, not their level of education or talent.
[Hat Tip: HeathenHassid.]